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Army Major Involved in Human Shield Row Detained With Woman From Srinagar Hotel

According to the police, the Major was informed by the hotel staff that he could not enter the room with the accompanying woman and this led to an altercation.

PTI

Updated:May 23, 2018, 9:59 PM IST
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Army Major Involved in Human Shield Row Detained With Woman From Srinagar Hotel
File photo of Army Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi.
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Srinagar: An Army Major, Nitin Leetul Gogoi, whose decision to tie a civilian to the bonnet of his vehicle in Kashmir last year sparked a row, was detained by the police on Wednesday after an altercation broke out at a hotel where he allegedly wanted to enter with an 18-year-old woman, according to a police official.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police has initiated an inquiry into the entire incident. Gogoi told the police he had come for a "source meeting", the official claimed.

The incident happened this morning when Major Gogoi along with his driver, also an armyman, and the woman approached the front desk of a hotel at Dalgate to check-in, the official said.

The booking was made on-line in the name of Leetul Gogoi for two guests for one night, the police official, who did not want to be identified, told PTI.

According to the police, which recorded statements of the hotel staff as well as the three persons, the Major was informed that he could not enter the room with the accompanying woman which led to an altercation between the staff and Gogoi's driver.

Immediately, other hotel staff members caught hold of the army officer and his driver and called the police. Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Range) Swayam Prakash Pani ordered a probe into the incident by Superintendent of Police (North). Pani has directed that the report be submitted at the earliest, the official said.

Police have asked for the hotel's CCTV footage as well as the room reservation form filled by the Major, as part of its probe. Srinagar-based Corps Commander Lt Gen A K Bhatt was apprised of the situation, the official said. However, the official said the police has not registered any case.

Asked for a comment, Army sources in New Delhi said the future course would be decided once police investigations were over and circumstances become clear.

A team of Major Gogoi's Army unit arrived along with Military Police and the two were handed over by the local police after recording their statements, the official said. The Major claimed it was a 'source meeting', the police official added.

The "sobbing woman" told the police that she knew the driver of the army officer and had accompanied him to Srinagar, the official added.

Gogoi had hit the headlines last year in April when he tied a local Farooq Ahmed Dar to his jeep and paraded him through 28 villages in Budgam district apparently to escape the stone pelting. The Army had defended the action and claimed that it was committed in good faith to save lives of many soldiers and polling staff from violent stone-pelters in Utligam village of Beerwah. The incident was widely criticised by political parties and intellectuals.

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